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Old 3rd February 2011, 06:42 PM   #1
maurycy is offline maurycy  United States
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Default Inexpensive tube amplifier kits?

I am trying to see if I am not missing any inexpensive tube amplifier kits. So far I know about the following:

Oatley pre and headphone amplifier kits

S5 tube amplifier kits

Aikido amplifier kits

Any others out there? The criteria for this list is inexpensive (up to $250) and has to be kit (all parts included - except chassis, power and connectors).

I am still trying to decide what to build so I am researching. So far I am leaning toward S5 kit as it looks like the micro or low voltage tubes have their drawbacks (microphonic or expensive). This is just a fun build so if it is pre, headphone or amplifier, doesn't really matter. I can use any of them.

Thanks.
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Old 4th February 2011, 03:29 PM   #2
maurycy is offline maurycy  United States
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Anyone? I guess all the 78 views are from hard core guys doing projects from scratch with point to point wiring :-)
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Old 4th February 2011, 03:51 PM   #3
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If you were extremely frugal, it might be possible to build Tubelab's Simple SE for that amount. Of course, this is not a kit, but it would probably be the most bang-for-the-buck introduction to tubes.

If you can stretch your budget, there is also Bottlehead's Single Ended eXperimenter's Kit for under $500. Personally, I'd go with the Simple SE in this price range, though.

About the lack of replies... There are few kits available (that I am aware of), and even fewer in that price range.

Edit: The Aikido you mentioned is a preamp. Are you looking for a preamp, power amp, or headphone amp? If preamp, look no farther than Aikido. If headphone amp, see this thread. If power amp, good luck...

Last edited by needtubes; 4th February 2011 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 4th February 2011, 04:35 PM   #4
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check the kits on tube depot. (i think they are the same as the one you posted so i think they are made in china for shure)
Kits - HiFi Tube Amp

Also check this
DIY Tube Amp kits from Decware
Now this last one is a real Performer. I'm gonna build one evetually.
good luck and keep one hand behind your back
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Old 4th February 2011, 04:45 PM   #5
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Pete Millett has a new one as well that can be built in your price range.
Jonokuchi desktop amp
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Old 5th February 2011, 12:57 AM   #6
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It may be possible to build an "El Cheapo" (schematic attached) for $250, in spite of recent materials cost increases.

Jim McShane sells parts kits. The builder adds casework and magnetics. Suitable O/P trafos can be purchased from Edcor and a full set of power "iron" can be purchased from Allied Electronics, both at reasonable cost. I'll provide details, should interest be expressed.

The cost of magnetics is the big "hit" in building a tube based amp. The guitar amp O/P trafo shown in the schematic is no longer a bargain.
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Old 5th February 2011, 03:45 AM   #7
MarkC is offline MarkC  United States
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Take a look at DIYTUBE.com. They have a Dynaco Stereo 35 clone that is easy to build and sounds very good.
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Old 5th February 2011, 04:01 AM   #8
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This one is $325 and includes the chassis
The Spud Kit - $325.00 : Zen Cart!, The Art of E-commerce
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Old 5th February 2011, 08:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maurycy View Post
Anyone? I guess all the 78 views are from hard core guys doing projects from scratch with point to point wiring :-)
I think that is a good interpretation of the results. A chap named Ray Perry led a 6V6 amp contest with a $250 budget and I found it a stretch. Building with more expensive parts is just as troublesome as building with cheap ones and IMO the building/fabrication process is the most expensive/troublesome part. Buying parts is comparitively painless...

A $4-500 budget will yeild a fine set of amps with a fairly simple circuit.
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Old 5th February 2011, 07:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bandersnatch View Post
IMO the building/fabrication process is the most expensive/troublesome part. Buying parts is comparitively painless...:
I share this opinion. The low ball way to do chassis construction is to build or re-purpose a wooden box and then place a sheet metal or aluminum panel over the open top of the box. Aluminum is quite nice to work with. These can be simple or elegant depending on your creativity and abilities with wood. If you buy a circuit card from Pete Millet for instance, that mounts to the panel after you cut the holes and you are on your way. You can get a quad of russian 7189s for about $20 on ebay from delax777mechanics (or something like that). Buy your pieces from mouser. Get some power and output transformers from an old $40 magnavox console stereo, maybe a tube set if you are lucky. I think you can get it done for $250.

Good luck.
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